First Look: Shaman King (2021)


Manga Adaptation by Bridge
Currently residing in Netflix jail – fansubs are available


You Asakura is a shaman, which enables him to see and communicate with the spirits of the dead. He was also born with an evil twin, who immediately channelled a spirit and noped out of the room moments after birth because his grandpa tried to kill him. 

Euri’s verdict: Fuck Netflix

Shaman King is a special series to me as it was the one that kicked off a very expensive hobby back in 2007 – collecting manga. That obsession has come and gone, but despite never watching the original anime adaptation, Shaman King has been a show I’ve wanted to find the time for ever since. 

Rumblings of a new Shaman King anime have been around for years at this point, but we’re finally here! I can finally watch a modern adaptation of a manga that helped get me through four years of university. It’s also been so long since I’ve read it that I’ve pretty much forgotten everything that happens, beyond things like who You is and what a shaman can do. Give it to me!


Oops, sorry about that. This show is in Netflix jail, so please come back later and binge the show. 

With some surgical accuracy, Netflix has secured and jailed the two shows I was most excited for this season – Shaman King and Godzilla Singular Point. It’s great to see anime growing on the platform to the point where they will go out and make acquisitions, if not outright throw money at funding certain shows, but I really am not a fan of the whole disjointed release thing. 

To no surprise, fansubbers have jumped onto these shows in the meantime, so if you really want to watch them they are very much out there and available. As for when Netflix will make Shaman King available outside of Japan, it’s hard to say. The show is slated for 52 episodes, and I’d certainly hope they don’t wait an entire year instead of releasing it in batches.  


That’s enough whining about Netflix – let’s actually talk about the show itself. Shaman King is, expectedly, a bit of a shounen time capsule. Everyone looks straight out of Kitarou, numerous characters are rocking the bare-chest-with-jacket look, and there’s plenty of narration explaining what we’re seeing during the fights. We saw this fairly recently with the remake of Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai, though unlike that show there’s not a jarring 3D model in sight.

The visuals are gorgeous. The worry with reboots like this is whether the companies involved in production are getting behind some safe IP, where quality can drop in spots without really affecting how well the show and its merch will sell in the long run. Bridge do not appear to be cutting corners, and if Shaman King is going to look as good as this episode for its entire run, I will be very, very happy. 

I have to admit that my nostalgia goggles are going to be doing a fair bit of work while I watch this show, but if you’re okay with a shounen show that looks and feels very much like the 90s, you can’t really go wrong here. Hopefully the anime season that’s going on when this show finally drops on Netflix sucks, so you’ll actually have the time to watch it.


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